Culture Politics

Gay marriage hits major bump in federal appeals court

Many at a recent Spokane, Wa. City Council meeting wore stickers opposing same-sex marriage. RNS photo by Tracy Simmons

WASHINGTON (RNS) The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation’s circuit courts that virtually guarantees review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The National Organization for Marriage hosted its 2013 March for Marriage in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2013.

Creative Commons image by Elvert Barnes

The National Organization for Marriage hosted its 2013 March for Marriage in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2013.

The 2-1 ruling from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed lower court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

More important, it gives Supreme Court justices an appellate ruling that runs counter to four others from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th circuits. Those rulings struck down same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, leading to similar action in neighboring states.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton, one of the Republican Party’s most esteemed legal thinkers and writers, issued the 42-page decision precisely three months after hearing oral arguments in the cases, with fellow GOP nominee Deborah Cook concurring. He delivered a rare defeat for proponents of same-sex marriage, who had won nearly all the cases decided from Florida to Alaska since the Supreme Court ruled against the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

Sutton argued that appellate judges’ hands are tied by a one-sentence Supreme Court ruling from 1972, which “upheld the
right of the people of a state to define marriage as they see it.” Last year’s high court decision requiring the federal government to recognize legal same-sex marriages does not negate the earlier ruling as it applies to states where gay marriage is not legal, he said.

The same reasoning was used by a federal district court judge in Puerto Rico last month.

“When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers,” Sutton said. “Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.”

He also maintained that states “got into the business of defining marriage, and remain in the business of defining marriage, not to regulate love but to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of male-female intercourse.”

The six cases before the three-judge panel involved not only whether gays and lesbians should be able to marry, but whether marriages performed elsewhere should be recognized; whether same-sex couples should be able to adopt children; and whether their names should be placed on partners’ death certificates.

Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, a Democratic appointee, delivered a blistering 22-page dissent. She disputed Sutton’s reasoning that judges should not decide the issue.

“If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams,” Daughtrey said.

BOTH SIDES LOOK TO SUPREME COURT

After enduring a prolonged losing streak, opponents of same-sex marriage were elated with the appeals court ruling.

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons

“This decision gives greater certainty that this matter will ultimately return to the Supreme Court, as we have said all along that it must,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. “We think that the constitutionality of states’ amendments on marriage will there be upheld.”

Byron Babione, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the court’s ruling demonstrates that “the Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of marriage be judicially imposed on everyone.”

Proponents of same-sex marriage saw Sutton’s opinion as an appeal to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authored the last three major rulings advancing the cause of gay rights. Kennedy has defended voters’ right to pass constitutional amendments — but he struck down the federal same-sex marriage ban as an affront to the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.

Lawyers working on gay marriage cases from coast to coast wasted no time preparing for a Supreme Court showdown.

“We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling, we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Supreme Court last month refused to reconsider the cases from Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin, at least in part because there was no conflict among the federal appeals courts. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a Minneapolis audience that a ruling against same-sex marriage from the 6th Circuit panel would make Supreme Court consideration more urgent.

In his ruling, Sutton was not swayed by the earlier rulings from his appeals court colleagues. “Four courts of appeals thus far have recognized a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. They agree on one thing: the result. But they reach that outcome in many ways, often more than one way in the same decision,” he said.

Nor was he swayed by the Supreme Court’s inaction on those other cases, the result of which was to greatly expand same-sex marriage from North Carolina to Alaska. “A decision not to decide is a decision not to decide,” he said.

And he most certainly was not swayed by gay marriage proponents’ arguments for why same-sex marriage should be legalized through the courts.

“Not one of the plaintiffs’ theories … makes the case for constitutionalizing the definition of marriage and for removing the issue from the place it has been since the founding: in the hands of state voters,” Sutton said.

GAY MARRIAGE JUGGERNAUT STOPPED

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry, including the five states from which the high court turned down appeals. Since then, eight additional states have been added to the list: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Three more states — Kansas, Montana and South Carolina — also are bound by the appeals court rulings.

The justices ruled 5-4 in June 2013 that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in states that allow them. They also refused to overrule a California court’s decision striking down that state’s ban.

Those rulings have led federal and state judges to overturn state bans in more than two dozen more recent decisions. The string of federal court victories was broken in early September in Louisiana, where a federal district judge upheld that state’s ban. Then in October, a federal judge in Puerto Rico upheld the territory’s ban.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld Nebraska’s gay marriage ban in 2006, long before the Supreme Court’s ruling last year. But in deciding not to consider any cases recently, the justices clearly did not give that decision equal weight in determining whether the appeals courts were divided.

(Richard Wolf writes for USA Today)

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  • “Sutton argued that appellate judges’ hands are tied by a one-sentence Supreme Court ruling from 1972, which “upheld the right of the people of a state to define marriage as they see it.””

    Tell that to Mildred & Richard Loving.

  • “….Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.”

    Q; How homophobic is the National Organization for Marriage?

    A: They are so homophobic that for Tuesday’s election they endorsed a straight Democrat over a gay Republican, and both candidates supported same-sex marriage. NOM literally endorsed a candidate solely for being heterosexual.

    But tell me again that opposition to same-sex marriage isn’t about opposing LGBT individuals. I always like to hear that joke.

  • “Major bump” Richard, nah,shallow victory. This is just another step in what will ultimately be equality for all Americans.

  • From a states’ rights perspective, vis’ a’vis the 10th Amendment, and the democratic principle of majority rule within the precincts of the social compact, this was a well reasoned decision. On the other hand, in the time since such state bans were enacted perhaps the ground has shifted among the voters of the various states affected. Those voters and citizens have the option of repeal of their bans if they so choose. That is the proper political remedy (so called). But the greater point is that the people are the government in this country, above the delegated authority of the federal government However, for those who truly understand what’s at stake in this conflict with respect to the antecedents which predispose the decline and fall of empire, the current trend does not bode well. Sadly, unless the entire picture changes this is not a victory, but merely a rearguard delaying action.

  • Good to have confirmed there is no right to gay “marriage” as SCOTUS will eventually affirm. Not that there was any doubt.

  • Gay marriage seems to be main the topic now but 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists
    many sins right along with gay marriage so all the sins need to be talked
    about not just gay marriage or abortion. Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get
    drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all drunkards go to hell yet I meet
    person after person today that still gets drunk. Jesus made the wine for a
    symbolic reason not to get drunk plus it was new wine/diluted and the Bible
    says don’t get drunk on strong wine/don’t get drunk with wine it’s debauchery
    so all the people who still get drunk with strong wine are also wrong/go to hell.
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved. We all must Repent!

  • You are almost a century and a half too late to use that argument with a straight face. State’s rights arguments through the 10th Amendment are rather weak when the subject is civil liberties. The 14th Amendment overrides state and local governments on the issue when it comes to equal protection under the law. Ever notice that State’s rights arguments these days always seems to be about a right to engage in discriminatory conduct?

    It was a great attempt at sounding like you have a rational argument, but it falls flat. Precedent has been established for more than half a century making the Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of personal liberties issues. All discriminatory laws are passed by a majority vote. Deference to the legislature is simply writing a blank check to discriminate against any minority voting group at will.

    It is hardly more than a bump in the road. This ruling compels SCOTUS to deal with the situation. Where there is conflicting regional laws on civil liberties issues, equal protection arguments must be discussed to harmonize the situation. You have 5 justices who will rule against gay marriage bans. It is a slow road to defeat for the anti-gay crowd.

  • I just finished reading the court’s decision, both the majority opinion (SUTTON) and the dissenting opinion (DAUGHTERY).

    I thought that Sutton gave the better arguments, personally. He looked at each of the plaintiffs arguments and then compared those arguments to previous Supreme Court rulings; using judicial precedent as a guide for the majority judgment.

    Daughtrey, the dissenting opinion, based her ruling more on the average statistics of the social sciences. As the dissenting opinion, she commented more on the majority opinion then the arguments brought up in the case itself. She seemed to just repeat the decisions of the previous appellate courts in the 4th, 7th, and 10th US districts.

    She didn’t have nearly the amount of references which Sutton had and overall was less well written than the majority piece.

    I would recommend you all take the time and read it yourself. It’s about 50 pages (in large print). Most people could read it in about 30 minutes I would guess. An hour, at the most.

  • Again, someone going through the motions of trying to make a rational argument against gay marriage but ultimately just making a dishonest one.

    The Appellate Court made terrible arguments which are irrational and unrelated to any logical support of a gay marriage ban. A legalistic approach rather than real discussion of the merits of the obvious 14th Amendment issues. The “procreation argument for marriage” is really one of the dumbest, but most often cited in court. [Relying on ignoring precedent from 1960 with Griswold v. Connecticut ] I can go into detail on that for those interested.

    Sutton used obsolete law. Relying on precedent concerning gay rights from 1972 is dishonest nonsense at best. The legal status of gays under the law was very very different in 1972. Homosexuality was still considered a crime in many places (struck down by Lawrence v. Texas in 2003). Being gay was grounds for losing custody of children back then. Openly targeting gays for discrimination under color of law was perfectly legal (struck down by Romer v. Evans 1996). Gays in the military could expect imprisonment if their orientation was discovered. Gay marriage wasn’t around in any state or other country. So the arguments could have been strictly theoretical.

    Lets face it, if there was any legitimate recognizable harm to society by recognizing gay marriage, there would be mountains of evidence from the various states and nations where it is already legal. This is the fundamental dishonesty of the anti-gay arguments. By treating it as “what ifs” it pretends there is no place where it is “already there”.

  • This became a federal issue the moment congress took it upon itself to pass the slanderously named Defense of Marriage Act.

  • Corinthians 6 says NOTHING about marriage, gay or otherwise. Don’t you people ever read your bibles?

  • Sutton’s basic argument was that the people should be allowed to vote on other people’s marriage. He failed to deal with the issues of bias, legitimate state interests, and all of the other issues raised in every other case. Citing Baker was just one of his errors; the issue was Federalized in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, and was Federalized again the moment the ludicrously name Defense of marriage Act was based.

    Here is the Money shot of Sutton’s opinion:

    “When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.”

    He forgets to mention that we haven’t been allowed to be the heroes of our own stories.

  • Karla, this is an issue for civil laws. You can keep your Bible to yourself.
    According to your previously stated belief, its not of the duty of a Christian like yourself to interfere with civil government and its operation. So your comment is singularly useless here.

  • Never mind that every form of legalized discrimination begins through the “customary political processes” and doesn’t get taken down without courts resolving social issues.

    What is really silly is the comment, “She seemed to just repeat the decisions of the previous appellate courts in the 4th, 7th, and 10th US districts. ”

    Those previous appellate court decisions were based on applying CURRENT LAW and addressing the issue as intended in light of 14th Amendment criteria. Of course they will be referenced. They are relevant to the issue and situation (unlike Sutton’s citations).

  • ben in oakland-1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists practicing homosexuals,thieves,
    drunkards,slanderers/liars/gossips,swindlers,greedy coveters,idolaters,
    adulterers/the sexually immoral as who won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven
    unless they Repent so gay marriage applies because if someone if trying
    to get married if they’re gay that means they are a practicing homosexual.
    If you read what I wrote I said abortion and/or gay marriage shouldn’t be
    the only two sins that seem to be/get talked about on here. God bless.

  • Larry,

    I agree with you on one thing you said; I also find the “harm to heterosexual marriages or society” a terrible argument. I have no idea why this is use as an argument; I get frustrated whenever I see or hear this argument.

    My argument would be that the individual states have always been allowed to define what constitutes a marriage. I’m not against states which would expand their marriage definition to include same-sex marriages. What I’m against is this false notion that states which do not are violating the 14th amendment and/or a person’s constitutional right to marry. I personally do NOT see this any different than any other restriction of the definition of marriage. And apparently neither did the Supreme Court; in the Lawrence case, the Supreme Court upheld the definition of marriage of one man and one woman. The Lawrence judges simply reaffirmed that definition, not changed it to include same-sex marriage. When the marriage law changed the legal age, from 12 to 18 (17 in some states), wasn’t that discriminatory? Didn’t they discriminate based upon age? The fourteenth amendment says no person shall be deprived of liberty. Do 18 year olds have the liberty to marry, and 17 year old can be deprived of liberty under the 14th amendment? What is the reason that age requirements weren’t considered unconstitutional? Because the definition of marriage was left up to the individual states; they were not defined by the federal government. Which is actually why parts, especially article III, of DOMA was thrown out.

    To claim that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right would imply that this right is in the constitution. Where do you get this idea that marriage is a constitutional right? It’s nowhere in the constitution nor the bill of rights. Marriage isn’t even a constitutional right for heterosexual people. It’s not as though two opposite-sex people can demand, under the veil of “constitutional rights”, that the state grant them a tax break for this-or-that. The citizens of the state debate, compromise, vote-on, and then pass laws which describe various tax laws. But it’s up to the state to say who benefits from these laws. And like it or not, these can be discriminatory. Driving laws are not federal, they are state based. And they discriminate based on age; one state says you can legally drive at 16, but if that person moves and becomes a resident of NY, the state of New York does NOT recognize their out-of-state driving licenses. Same thing with the out-of-state marriage licenses. Tax laws routinely discriminate based on class; the state has a legal right to say that this “group” of people have to pay “this” tax, where another group doesn’t. Aren’t these laws discriminating based upon income level? The democrats and liberals don’t’ seem to think that it’s unconstitutional to charge one group of people with a 48% tax and another group with only 15%.

    And I also think it’s a lie to claim that gay people have been discriminated against. I challenge anyone to tell me a right that gay people lack, which straight people have. What right does a straight person have, that a gay person doesn’t?

  • Actually, sexual activity isn’t required for marriage, and marriage isn’t required for sexual activity.

    so NO, most emphatically no, Corinthians says nothing about gay marriage.

  • ” I also find the “harm to heterosexual marriages or society” a terrible argument. I have no idea why this is use as an argument.”

    It was used because this is not about marriage, but about home some heterosexuals obsess over homosexuality, and how very much engrained this vicious prejudice is in our laws and society.

    “I personally do NOT see this any different than any other restriction of the definition of marriage.”

    Two words: Loving v. Virginia. This is not about the definition of marriage,. This is about the definition of gay people, our families, our faith, and our children as inferior in every way to those of heterosexuals.

    “When the marriage law changed the legal age, from 12 to 18 (17 in some states), wasn’t that discriminatory? Didn’t they discriminate based upon age?” Only if you believe that there is no such thing as consent, and that laws which govern adults are exactly the same as those which govern children. The word you are looking for is RATIONAL BASIS.

    “And apparently neither did the Supreme Court; in the Lawrence case, the Supreme Court upheld the definition of marriage of one man and one woman. ”

    They did nothing of the sort. In fact, it was Scalia’s dissent that said that without the sodomy bans there was no reason not to permit gay marriage. That statement has been cited NUMEROUS times.

    “And I also think it’s a lie to claim that gay people have been discriminated against. I challenge anyone to tell me a right that gay people lack, which straight people have. What right does a straight person have, that a gay person doesn’t?”

    There you go again, being dishonest. Many of those laws– laws which prevented us from marrying, from having privacy, from serving in the military, from adopting children– have been successfully fought and disposed of– NO THANKS TO THE HETEROSEXUAL WORLD WHICH IMPSOED THEM. In 29 states, you can be fired for being gay with no legal recourse. Perhaps you can supply some evidence that heterosexuals have been fired for being heterosexual. Sodomy laws are still on the books in fundamentalist hellholes like Utah, not because they are enforceable, but because religious bigots want them there. Gay people are routinely fired form catholic school. Cake bakers routinely claim that they are exempt from antidiscrimination laws.

    As ion your previous postings, what is obvious is that you are educated enough to write on the issues, but far too dishonest to tell the truth.

    If you don’t know about antigay discrimination, then you should perhaps learn about it,. and if you can swear to your Jesus that you would NEVER EVER do so for nay reason, then we can talk.

  • Catholic schools are private. So are business run by private citizens.

    Rights, on the other hand, are protected by the federal governments. None of the issues you brought up (being fired for being gay) are sanctioned by the government (neither federal nor state)

    And I believe that the government (federal/state) typically side WITH a homosexual person which was unfairly punished/fired/ousted and who sought litigation of the issue. Don’t they typically win these sort of cases? And isn’t it the state/federal judiciary who grant them the judgment in their favor?

    I agree with you on sodomy laws. We should get rid of them. I can’t speak for all Christians, but I, as one don’t want to set up a theocracy. I think you, me, and Larry can agree on that.

    I heading home now, but I’ll look up Loving v Virginia and see what that case was all about. Ttyl

  • Bible says to flee from sexual immorality/the marriage bed is not to
    be defiled so sex is for marriage and God said marriage is between
    a husband/wife joining together is what God intended/it’s what the
    Word of God/Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:12/1 Corinthians 7:1-7.

  • “My argument would be that the individual states have always been allowed to define what constitutes a marriage. ”

    And you would be wrong. All state laws, dealing with individual liberties must pass muster under the 14th Amendment. This includes laws pertaining to marriage and the rights of married couples. This is why we don’t have anti-miscegenation laws on the books anymore.
    Every legal restriction and definition of marriage is based on rational and secular purposes. NONE exists for a gay marriage ban. Its sole purpose is to discriminate against gay families.

    The fact you have to dive into crappy analogy rather than the subject at hand is a sign you have nothing rational or honest to say on it. Driving and tax laws are not the same as marriage laws. Even they are subject to requiring rational and secular arguments to justify restrictions.

    “And I also think it’s a lie to claim that gay people have been discriminated against.”

    This is so far from reality, that I can’t possibly take you seriously as having an honest point of view here. Anti-gay bigots are fighting for a legal right to discriminate. To fight laws which deny them the ability to do so in business, employment, housing etc. You cannot possibly be this misinformed. So my only conclusion is you think everyone else is stupid enough to take you seriously.

    The reality is nothing about the appellate court decision addressed the issue in an honest fashion, applied current law, or used rational arguments. If you can claim to have read an Federal Appeals Court decision concerning marriage rights, make an alleged evaluation of its arguments and you haven’t heard of Loving v. Virginia you can’t even pretend to have a clue here.

  • “Rights, on the other hand, are protected by the federal governments. None of the issues you brought up (being fired for being gay) are sanctioned by the government (neither federal nor state)”

    Completely untrue.

    Many states specifically exclude gays from their anti-discrimination laws. The whole purpose of the ENDA was to create a national standard which would declare such deliberate omissions unconsitutional.

    “Don’t they typically win these sort of cases? And isn’t it the state/federal judiciary who grant them the judgment in their favor?”

    No. It depends on the state anti-discrimination laws. In some places it is perfectly legal to deny a person employment or housing for being gay.

  • Many states specifically exclude gays from their anti-discrimination laws.

    Actually, nearly every category you could imagine is ‘excluded’ from such laws. Making judgements about people’s suitability is a banal aspect of commerce and industry, not to mention social life. There came a point when elite opinion was persuaded that certain of their clients should have a cause of action regarding others’ decisions not to contract or associate. So, everyone’s decisions are second-guessed by … lawyers.

    Homosexuals are not even a winsome and sympathetic client-group.

  • And you would be wrong. All state laws, dealing with individual liberties must pass muster under the 14th Amendment.

    Matrimonial law defines personal status and the implication of association incorporated in status. “Personal liberties” have little to do with it.

    That aside, there is not much case law regarding the ‘privileges and immunities clause’ and you’d have an impossible task demonstrating that ‘privileges and immunities’ extended in any state or in these United States included much to do with matrimonial law, much less the ‘right’ to marry some other dude.

  • “I’ll look up Loving v Virginia and see what that case was all about.”

    Comment of the week!

    Also, you are wrong. There is no federal law against firing someone for being gay, and many states also do not have laws against it. Cracker Barrel, to name one popular Christian-owned company, used to have a policy that mandated firing any employees found to be gay. They eventually did away with the policy due to bad publicity, not for legal reasons.

  • In practice, the 14th supercedes the 10th, but only because revisionist judges have made it so, thus perception becomes reality…but not good policy. Even Jefferson, generally adored by progressives was roundly suspicious of an encroaching federal judiciary. Judges may interpret the Law constitutionally, but the legislative and administrative responsibilities lie with the Congress and the Executive branch. When Judges take action outside their proper sphere disaster results, i.e. the 1970’s travesty of busing.

  • Revisionist judges my posterior! You can’t chalk up about a century of jurisprudence on a given subject as the work of a few wonky justices and people who don’t know any better. It takes a monumental level of ignorance to make such claims. The judiciary is the last check between political process and the upholding of basic liberties. They are what ultimately keep majorities from stripping the rights of political minorities. .
    Jefferson owed much of his presidency to the judiciary and its adoption of judicial review on his watch. [Marbury v. Madison was a boon to him]. He also was ultimately wrong about state’s rights. He believed that state’s rights to keep human beings as chattel property was more important than liberty for all. So his opinion on a whole lot of subjects is not as relevant now as it was back in his day.

    Most likely you forgot about the most important event the US went through on the subject of the conflict of personal liberties vs states rights. You know the one from 1860-65 which ended to the tune of 1.3 million American soldiers dead. The state’s right people lost that battle, badly.

    The 14th Amendment was adopted after that conflict as a message to the nation. That the states were NEVER going to be the final arbiter of civil liberties. Equal protection under the law is incompatible with state’s rights. This is why so many bigots despise its implementation. [Its why “state’s rights libertarian” Ron Paul was so popular with the KKK]

    If you have to resort to state’s rights arguments when it comes to civil liberties, you are pretty much admitting that you are supporting discrimination and lack any kind of rational purpose for it.

  • “Matrimonial law defines personal status and the implication of association incorporated in status. “Personal liberties” have little to do with it.”

    Untrue. Marriage is a fundamental right
    Since 1888 SCOTUS has considered it such.
    http://www.afer.org/blog/14-supreme-court-cases-marriage-is-a-fundamental-right/

    What is interesting about one case, Loving v. Virginia is that anti-gay marriage people use some of the same exact arguments as those supporting miscegenation. You even just parroted one of them.

    “That aside, there is not much case law regarding the ‘privileges and immunities clause”

    Completely untrue. They just aren’t well known outside of lawschools. My suggestion is you check out Oyez.org
    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1872/1872_2

    Wikipedia also thinks you are incorrect
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privileges_or_Immunities_Clause

    So what rational and secular purpose does a gay marriage ban serve? There is none.

  • Artie, if I was incorrect, there would be no impetus for the passage of the ENDA, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. A law which would provide federal anti-discrimination protection for gay employees. Essentially to plug the holes created by various states where discrimination against gays in the workplace is perfectly legal.

    “Actually, nearly every category you could imagine is ‘excluded’ from such laws”

    And how many of those categories are subject to organized and systematic discrimination from all forms of public existence in the same fashion as sexual orientation? None.

    When people start blubbering about “elites” they are really admitting to having nothing rational, intelligent or educated to say on a subject. They want to make idiocy sound like a virtue.

  • Wrong, Larry. Holding a religious world view does not disqualify people from weighing in on public policy issues, nor does having a religious motive for weighing in. Freedom of expression includes freedom of religious as well as non-religious expression. To argue otherwise is totalitarian, plain and simple.

  • Note how when Josh M takes the nice-guy, fair-minded approach, Larry and Ben return the favor by treating him with utter contempt. To these two barbarians, niceness equals weakness. A very interesting glimpse into the mindset of the radical left, where being a gentleman is despised almost on principle.

  • There is no constitutional right to gay marriage, but SCOTUS will likely rule that there is. On any such issue, four of the nine justices are automatic votes in favor. It has little to do with the Constitution, and everything to do with advancing a radical social agenda. All they need is to peel off one more justice — someone like Kennedy who cares about what Sally Quinn and the other elites in Georgetown have to say about him — and they have themselves a majority.

  • Not what I said and you know that. So you go to your default nonsense canned line. Let me make it as simple as possible, since you don’t really get my point.

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MEANS NOBODY EVER HAS TO CARE WHAT YOU THINK GOD WANTS.

  • It would be better for the heroes of the ADF to take their efforts into the realm of defending Christians from the future attacks of the neo-Sodomites gathering to pound down the doors of Churches and every other Christian gathering.

    It’s not just Sodom and Gomorrah-like heretics like Mel White and Matthew Vines that are threatening to harm Christians in the western world. The LGBT “community” and its culture of celebrating depravity . . . – that these polite miscreants in religious garb are trying to pretend they are not of, and are just asking for “equality” rights in representation – are really just drooling wolves under their sheep’s attire looking to pace around and stalk a flock of the young and innocent bodies of Christian the young people the desire more than anything else. Oops, I mean “questioning youth” right?” My bad.

    So, dear ADF, no one in secular soceity really cares about “gay rights” really. They just want “them” to go away as fast as possible. But evil doesn’t work that way.

    It’s time to look towards the future horrors planned for Christian families by Gay Activists (like White and Vines et al) and do something to prevent it.

    Most of society would rather have a Church in their neighborhood than a gay or lesbian bar.

    Still.

  • It is our (Christians) responsibility to call sin, sin, and homosexuality is sin. In Leviticus 18: 22, God said, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (sin). Further, it is a practice which abhorred God (Lev. 20:23). God opposed the practice of homosexuality because it is sin. Even though this is a civil matter, as a nation “under God”, we should not pass laws which are diametrically opposed to the Word of God. Remember, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Eze. 18: 20)

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